6 blockbuster films worth exploring

By Kevin Yanik, Senior Editor

I spent several off-days over the holidays and the past couple weekends at the movies checking out the latest flicks Hollywood has to offer. Most of my movie experiences were good ones and films I’d highly recommend. Here’s a breakdown of six movies I saw over the last few weeks:

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

This emotionally gripping film tells an apolitical story of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. compounds in the Libyan capital. Not a dry eye will walk away from this Michael Bay-directed film that offers vivid details from the perspective of the Americans who experienced the attacks.

Grade: A+


I expected this to be a football movie first, but “Concussion” is really the story of Dr. Bennett Omalu and his journey from discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to convincing corporate America (the NFL) to accept his work. Will Smith puts forth some of his best work here as Omalu.

Grade: A-


Rocky meets Creed. Rocky beats Creed. Rocky beats Mr. T. Rocky beats Drago. Rocky wins street fight. Rocky makes comeback. Rocky coaches Baby Creed. After six Rocky movies you might be asking yourself what a 65- or 70-year-old Rocky could possibly offer the big screen in a seventh go-around. Well, the Philadelphia-bred fighter has one round left in him in “Creed,” which is worth a watch if you generally have enjoyed the Rocky franchise.

Grade A-

“Daddy’s Home”

This film starring Will Ferrell doesn’t hang with “Anchorman,” “Old School” or “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” But Ferrell and co-star Mark Wahlberg have a good comedic chemistry. If you liked “The Other Guys” starring Ferrell and Wahlberg, you’ll get plenty of laughs out of “Daddy’s Home.”

Grade: B-

“The Revenant”

I haven’t seen every movie nominated for the Academy Awards’ Best Picture, but I’d be surprised if another nominee bests this Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed picture. Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic as usual, and the outdoor cinematography is worth the price of admission alone.

Grade: A+


This is no “13 Hours” or “Revenant,” but you shouldn’t expect an award winner here. The movie, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, offers a few laughs, but the plot tires quickly as most of the movie is one big over-the-hill party.

Grade: D

Kevin Yanik joined North Coast Media in 2012 and has worked in B2B media for more than seven years in various editorial positions. Kevin is a Cleveland native and a 2006 graduate of John Carroll University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.